Steelers' 1st-round pick Terrell Edmunds remains unsigned as camp looms
Six weeks after predicting he would sign his rookie contract “one of these days,” Steelers first-round draft pick Terrell Edmunds remains without a deal as training camp approaches.
Edmunds is the only Steelers’ draft pick who remains unsigned and is one of seven NFL first-round picks without a contract. The Steelers report to training camp Wednesday at Saint Vincent in Latrobe.
According to the NFL’s slotting system implemented in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, Edmunds can expect a four-year deal worth $10.78 million and a $5.9 million signing bonus based on calculations from salary-tracking web site spotrac.com.
Edmunds, a 21-year-old safety from Virginia Tech, was selected by the Steelers with the No. 28 overall pick.
At minicamp in June, Edmunds predicted a swift conclusion to negotiations with the Steelers.
“I’m not even worried about it,” Edmunds told the Tribune-Review. “I know it will get done one of these days.”
Since guard David DeCastro signed his rookie contract July 24, 2012, no Steelers draft pick has gone unsigned later than June. Last year, first-round outside linebacker T.J. Watt signed his deal June 14, a day after third-round pick Cam Sutton agreed to his rookie contract.
Edmunds and his brother, Tremaine, became the first set of brothers taken in the first-round of the draft in NFL history. Tremaine Edmunds, drafted No. 16 overall by the Buffalo Bills, signed a four-year deal May 12 that included a $7.3 million signing bonus and $12.7 million value.
So what is the hangup?
According to national reports, at stake is offset language in rookie contracts that hurts players cut before the completion of the four-year deal. The offset language reduces what the player makes if he is signed by another team. Without offset language, the players can be paid twice – once by the terms of his rookie contract and another time by his new team.
“You can definitely negotiate,” Edmunds said in June. “But I try to stay out of that right now, try to learn everything and let my parents and agents take over, and I’ll make the final say so of everything.”
Entering Sunday, the top four draft picks – Baker Mayfield, Saquon Barkley, Sam Darnold and Denzel Ward – were unsigned. Barkley came to terms with the New York Giants on Sunday afternoon.
Picks Nos. 7-9 – Josh Allen, Roquan Smith and Mike McGlinchey – also were without contracts.
Smith, the Georgia inside linebacker who was on the Steelers’ radar heading into the draft, became the first pick to hold out of training camp. The Chicago Bears opened camp last Thursday.
Edmunds is the only late first-round pick to remain unsigned. Mike Hughes, taken No. 30 overall by the Minnesota Vikings, and Sony Michel, drafted No. 31 by the New England Patriots, signed their deals this weekend.
Before the Steelers concluded offseason workouts, Edmunds said he was looking forward to training camp where he will compete for a role in the secondary along with starting safeties Sean Davis and Morgan Burnett.
“Everything has to be perfect at camp,” Edmunds said, snapping his fingers. “At camp, you have to have perfect days, you try to go out there with no mental errors. … They have been using me at multiple positions, both safety positions, and I’m just going out there and trying to learn everything and be a sponge of the game. I’m trying to soak up things from the older guys. They are just really mentoring me through the process.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.